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The homes of many of the Calabrians of the city we saw two donkeys with in the central part of the province are panniers laden with garden truck stop in simply straw-covered hovels such as one front of the neatest of the two-story would not expect to find any nearer houses. A man in uniform who had been home than the interior of the Philippines. sitting in front of the door in the shade They look like great stacks of straw, and of the house arose, and the gardener · help to explain why some Italians are who sat on the first donkey gave him unacquainted with the modern conven- some small coin. The house was the iences of a New York tenement-house. local dogana or custom-house, and the One afternoon, on passing one of these uniformed man was the collector of the homes (!), and seeing a half-dozen or octroi. more men, women, and children about Burdensome taxes, which are especially it, I stopped, and ran back to secure a irksome because they are visible in the picture of both the people and their every-day activities, formone of the forces. home. There was little difficulty in Poverty, formerly more common than obtaining the consent of the group to now, is another. Supporting a family on be photographed when they learned that wages not exceeding twenty cents a day, I was from the United States, for Amer- coupled with occasional bad crops and ica meant much to one woman who held land taxes that take sometimes as much as a babe in her arms. Proudly she told a quarter of one's income from the soil, is of the twenty-year-old son in that far- not a joyous round of gayety even in away country, who was making eight Italy, where living is relatively low in cost. lire a day.
One is not surprised to hear stories of “And how much did he make at brides pawning their dowries in order home ?”
that their husbands of a few months “One lira,” said she, with a laugh. may set off for a land where fortunes So the group, the woman laughing the may be made in two or three years. while, posed for the man from America, The condition of the people is greatly the foreign country which had been changed now in many communities, for brought so near home to them through the influx of American money has paid one of their number.
debts, brought comparative comfort, and Whence came they? The question is added to the landholdings of the peasanswered for one who has seen men, ants. such as he at Termini Imerese, Sicily, In the beginning, apparently, the emiwho told of twenty-two relatives in the grants were chiefly middle-aged men Republic across the Atlantic, and who whose finances had reached a hopeless has visited communities which are tệuly condition through poor crops, and the deserted villages.
payment of taxes, the demand for the What are the forces which have latter being regular if the crops were loosened up the avalanche of human not. They went to America, leaving beings from the hillsides of southern their families at home, in the hope of Italy and Sicily? And how does this repairing their fortunes. Money began little-traveled people reach this far land to come back. Then the men whither they would go ?
themselves. They wore better clothing As we were leaving Reggio we saw than they had ever worn before. They women washing wearing apparel in the had watches and chains. More than Strait of Messina. Near by, watching that, they had money, greater amounts them, stood a representative of Italy's than they had ever before possessed. The financial system. A coast-guard protect younger men, observing the success of ing Italy's salt monopoly against inva- the older ones, reasoned that by going sion, he was scrutinizing the wringing of to the United States they could avoid each article and the pails, in order to the troubles of the older men, and at prevent the removal of any salt water for their age be comfortably well off. Then the purposes of evaporation!
wives, sweethearts, brothers, sisters, On the day previous, while on the way parents, were sent for, and in course of to Gallina, as we reached the outskirts time—the avalanche.
Vagabond Glimpses of
Cwo Old Provinces
By Harold and Madeline Howlanu
Illustrated with drawings by
HE day of our two peasant women driving back from
departure from market, with their two-wheeled cart and Blois, on the sec- a sedate little horse. Similarly an aniond stage of our mated haystack traveling gayly over the canoe trip down country without visible attachment or the Loire,was un- guidance would presently disclose the mistakably one underlying cart, the plodding horses, of Jean's “thirty and the smocked and saboted driver. clear days.” But A soldier, in red trousers and blue jacket, clear is too feeble cantering merrily toward Blois, added a an epithet. The dash of warm color and a suggestion of
rain and the the world of action that seemed so far winds, our adversaries for four days, had remote from this peaceful valley. A washed and swept the air till it fairly brake-load of young people went singing sparkled. The light that flooded the val- by; the smart carriage (buggy, rather, ley was brilliant without being harsh, and save for its foreign air) of the country the varied greens of grass and leaves, the doctor followed at a more moderate gait; blue of the sky and the red of an occa- and the van of an itinerant merchant sional tiled roof, had the resonant qual- made a spasmodic progress down the ity of bell tones. Our nerves tingled, road, stopping at every cottage to dazzle we sat very straight, and paddled with the women folk with its store of bargains. a snappy stroke quite unlike the listless Now and then the hoot of an autodipping of the blade under lowering mobile's horn and the beat of its engine skies or its dogged thrust under the invaded the stillness, and the rushing heartbreaking stress of head winds. monster Aed away down the river, learFor long our course was paralleled by ing behind it great clouds of dust and a the highroad, which afforded us a kind bad smell. of running epitome of the life of the But all the life was not on the road. countryside. At times, where the road At intervals the curving current of the had dropped behind a a bank, would Loire had left a broad expanse of sand appear a pair of white globes moving and shingle lying bare under one of its steadily along the parapet, like a couple banks. At one such spot a group of of errant snow-balls. Soon the road peasants were loading two-wheeled carts would rise, and the mysterious apparition with the gravel and hauling it away. resolve itself into the spotless caps of Their unhurried movements, the patier.
demeanor of their sturdy horses, and title for the single street with its double the subdued creak of the cart-wheels as row of houses which straggles along the they slowly climbed the bank into the foot of the hill upon the summit of which unknown country beyond, harmonized the château rests. But, though unprewith the atmosphere of quiet and con tentious, the village boasted the usual tent that hung over the valley. Now assortment of boulangeries, patisseries, and then the flash of the sun on an confiseries, and épiceries, where we filled uplifted shovel, and the staccato bark of the lunch-basket, leaving it at the last the dog who plainly owned the river little shop for future reference. We did and questioned our right to voyage upon not deign to ask our way, for there, it, accented and emphasized the quiet plain to be seen on the heights above us, for eye and ear. Near another sand-bar was the château. But alas for overthree men in a long bateau, with sharp confidence! We climbed a steep, rough pointed overhanging bow and stern, were road which gave every sign of an honordragging the gravel from the river-bed able intention to lead us to our goal. with long-handled rakes of curious design. But when, hot and breathless, we gained
Where a little stream came down to the summit, it was only to be lured a join the great river, talking cheerily to little farther and yet a little farther on, itself in an undertone, a white-capped with not even a glimpse of the round old peasant woman with kilted skirts towers of the castle to encourage us. belabored the family wash.
And we were waxing hungrier with every passed, another woman leading a reluc- step. Finally, after making several circles tant cow appeared on the high bank around the supposed site of the château, above, silhouetted against the blue sky. M’dame had a distant vision of a battleIn a moment cow and linen were forgot- mented façade. The deceiving road was ten in the joys of gossip, so absorbing promptly abandoned and a bee line taken that even the passing of our canoe a through stables and tenants' cottages. dozen yards away went unobserved. Chaumont is neither stately nor im
Farther down the river long nets were pressive, but it has an air of sturdy stretched on poles well across the chan- strength and self-reliance. The arched nel, but looped up above the water's gateway between two massive towers is level, for the fishing season would not guarded by a very real portcullis and begin for a day or two yet. The fisher- drawbridge.
The fisher- drawbridge. On the occasion of our man, who was putting the last touches visit the drawbridge was up, and we of repairs to his nets, lifted them still crossed a narrow foot-bridge on the higher, and let us slip beneath, with a right and knocked at a small door—(we pleasant word of greeting.
wished it were a postern, but since it So we voyaged under a glorious sky, was in front we are afraid it wasn't). and saw the life of the countryside flow In answer to our knock the door swung by us. The morning's paddle brought open, and there, filling the entrance, were us easily to Chaumont.
two huge black dogs. It was something
of a surprise, but the beasts had a benign At this point M'sieur lays down his expression of countenance, and the little pen with a sigh. His recollections of old lady who peered over their backs the beauties of Chaumont are dimmed hastened to assure us that ey were by the more poignant memory of the “good.” The concierge, it appeared, pangs of hunger that assailed him there. was engaged in conducting another party We arrived just at noon, quite the nor over the house; we could wait in the mal time to lunch, in view of a breakfast courtyard. For a time this was eminently of chocolate and rolls and a subsequent satisfactory. The courtyard, inclosed three hours' paddle. But, for some rea on three sides, is open on the fourth to son unknown, we elected to visit the an enchanting view of the river and château first. We entered the town valley. Level with the stone railing on modestly through a small alley between the edge of the terrace are the tops of gardens which led up from the river. trees which grow on the steep slope Perhaps town is rather too spacious a below, making a swaying screen of green